Biogen Idec Shares Popped: What You Need to Know


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of biotech-drug developer Biogen Idec (NAS: BIIB) took a vitamin shot this morning, jumping as high as 12% on more than double their average trading volume.

So what: Though we're deep into another earnings season, Biogen's jump came from a different source: oral multiple sclerosis treatment BG-12 showed very good efficacy and fairly low risk of side effects in the second of two phase 3 FDA trials.

Now what:As an MS patient myself, I find these results very exciting: BG-12 pills seem to reduce relapses more than the baseline of Teva Pharmaceutical's (NAS: TEVA) daily Copaxone shots, and there are no needles involved. Meanwhile, side effects were similar to the placebo group. That being said, there are no magic bullets and it's not always easy to stick to a regimen of two to three daily doses, as BG-12 requires. And you might recall another wonder drug by the name of Tysabri by Biogen and Elan (NYS: ELN) passing all the trials and then getting snatched off the market due to unforeseen side effects. Tysabri is back and a certified blockbuster, BG-12 may become another hit, and I'd love to get off those darn Copaxone shots myself. Let's just say that I'm cautiously optimistic about Biogen's next potential megaseller.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned and only wishes he knew a lot less about MS. The Motley Fool owns shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Elan and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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